Since Independence, India has been consumed by its domestic priorities. Now, with increasing integration with the world and a huge stake in global stability, it is time to focus on the global commons. India has a seat on the hightable to design and shape the rules for the governance of the global commons. In this special Independence Day Briefing, Gateway House examines India’s engagement with four global commons – technology, outer space, cyber and the oceans – and makes recommendations on how best they can be governed for our collective future.
The notion of the oceans and seas as a global common is under severe test. National and regional interests are winning over the urgency to maintain their well being while competition to exploit the many commercial opportunities they present is ever increasing. The task at hand is to stop ocean decline – and India can play a transformative role in this
Ownership of lunar artifacts – objects left behind by space missions – will become a vexing issue as the international footprint on the Moon grows. Such archaeological objects may be designated ‘national heritage’, but the site on which they exist ought to remain ‘a global common’, and not become a point of territorial contestation. The Moon needs to be managed by global consensus, prudence and realism.